Monday, February 03, 2014

Marndadee, Chillout at Chiangmai

So Heritage
Marndadee Heritage River Village, there is a reason to the heritage title. You live among the paddy, they have farmers tending the crops at certain time of the day. On the compound, the terraced sections of inundated agriculture takes on center stage. The different styled accommodations, wooden and concrete, fringes the crops. I arrived late in the night on my northern trip after a full day from Mae Sot to Chiangmai. In the room that I checked in, there was a scarecrow out front. There it stood, an evil shadow of a figurine in front of our Sino Colonial room, the silhouette of a ghostly figure with its head posed like its neck was broken. That's when I realized scarecrows are not only meant to scare birds, but to scare a few drops of pee out of me.

Scary Scarecrow
On the second night, we stayed in the Rice Barn. A wooden house erected on large stilts, each of those strong support, parts of an old sturdy tree. The resort aims to retain the rustic authenticity of the north, so a majority of parts in the barns are actually recycled from pieces of rural houses which had ran out of their useful past. Both the Sino Colonial room and the Rice Barn we stayed were fully loaded with antiquity. And every room there is christened by a name, not a number. The name which is from a nearby district and no two are the same.

I find the Rice Barn most interesting of stay, but very small she is I have to say. Going up a flight of wooden stars, there is a patio that overlooks the bordering Ping river out front. Wooden chairs and a low table, that was where I spent the afternoon sipping tea. Our neighbor, French Fries they ordered, relaxing with a cold bottle of beer in the stillness of the lazy afternoon sun. The entrance into our room is made up of two swinging doors, very small and can get stuck going in especially with luggage.

Rice Barn Interior
The barn is made for hobbits I am sure, I think they made it small so that it's a novelty. A large bed took up most of the space within, and we had to move furniture around when we wanted to open them windows to let the winter air in. The Sino Colonial rooms are much larger and easier to move around in comparison. The Rice Barn spots more luxury, she has a colonial style bathtub that stood on four legs in her bathroom. But small, very small so you may overturn the tub if your are too large. And below the deck a sitting area there is, a hammock for one to snooze, a table and two chairs for my blogging there is.

Rather Cramped
This resort had only opened in recent months, operationally they seemed to be still figuring out how to run the place smoothly. Tell tale signs were the inadequate sitting space for breakfast with the food line setup in what seem to be in a abrupt fashion. Egg station, cooks and all, enclosed in a small pack area on the second floor. Breakfast selection was limited, but the taste was pleasantly above acceptable. However, the food ran out too fast, and a different dish was served later in place but of an equally small quantity.

Chamber maids had trouble coping with the full occupancy rate it seemed. We were told our room was ready but we had to wait a half hour below our barn before the staffs came to ready our room from the previous occupant's stay. Actually they never came till we called the reception to complain. And that's where for the first time in my life I seen elderly ladies move so fast up and down the stairs executing frantic task carrying bed sheets, linens, the broom and the mop in flight.

Below Deck
If you travelled enough, you will know that in most hotels, there is a lack of free electrical outlets to charge your phone and gadgets. Not in Marndadee. I counted 14 free outlets in total within the Rice Barn. I can charge my phone or power my notebook almost anywhere. Also interesting to note about Marndadee is that your room doors can be locked form the outside. So much like Medieval times, you can engage the latch on your neighbor's door, lock them in and set their barns on fire.

We had picked this resort to be the finale of our trip and glad we did. Its far away from bustling Chiangmai, getting there required some travelling through surrounding pastures of paddy fields. How more natural can it get? This last leg of our journey, after tiresome driving and all, we rested well in Marndadee not venturing out anywhere no more after lunch. It was the night before New Year's eve. As we sat chilling out beyond dusk, the croaking frogs orchestrated the night. Occasionally our barns were illuminated in a radiance of colors, followed by a delayed faint crack of distance fireworks. The chilly air we breathed, the winter blanket we were in.

By the Ping River
Outside the Diner
Rice Plants
Just Simply Rustic
Th names of the Rooms
Out by our Room
Within the Barn
The Surroundings
Sino Colonial Room
Outdoor Dining
Can get Stuck
Lock from the Outside


Bestof2Worlds said...

I need to pm you for accommodation advice before I go on holiday. Looks a really nice place. Gong Xii Fatt Chai !!

Jewie said...

You are welcome anytime :) . Happy CNY to you too.